When making recommendations for people, I often get asked, “what do YOU do?” I love this because I think it separates those doctors that lead by prescription pad versus the ones that lead by example. I feel a tipping point approaching that healthcare consumers, you, are going to be looking more and more for a doctor that practices what they preach. You aren’t looking for perfection but a leader by example. Limited are the days of doctors that are overweight, smokers, and perpetually sweating while saying that they need to eat better, stress less, and make sure you get your flu shot.
With my daily routines, I feel the morning is the most important time of day. In the Evangelical Christian world, tithing is a common practice. The premise is that we are only on earth temporarily and everything we have is borrowed. We start this life with nothing and we end this life with nothing. Our duty is to be a good steward of what we have (financially, relationships, and our physical bodies). As a good steward, we recognize that we don’t own anything and therefore as an act of faith and gratitude, give 10% of our resources back to God. Classically, this is the offering plate in church.
I also believe that each one of us has a calling on our life. No matter what that calling, your level of health expression has the largest influence over your effectiveness in that mission. Just ask those with the hardest job in the world, stay-at-home moms. If mom isn’t healthy, the house has an exponential chance of going down in flames.
This 10% is not just 10% but the FIRST and BEST 10% of what you have. Money is a resource you can always gain more but time is a limited resource. Time is a finite resource that every single person on the planet shares. All the billions of people on this planet have only 24 hours each day. 10% is about 2½ hours. I feel, how you spend the first 2½ hours of each day has great dictation into the remaining 21½.
Why do I single out the morning? This is the time of day with the least interruptions. Nobody is calling you at 6 am. Government agencies and financial institutions aren’t open that early. There’s nothing good on TV that early in the morning. Hopefully your kids are still sleeping.
I also single out the morning because that should be your highest burst of energy. Your cortisol levels should be higher in the morning and then wane as the day goes on. Most will say cortisol is your stress hormone but it’s your survival hormone. If you can’t get out of bed to go kill something to feed the family, you and your family don’t survive. Cortisol is your internal rooster waking you up to attack the day.
[bctt tweet=”Cortisol is your internal rooster waking you up to attack the day. “]
The trick is finding that one thing in that first 10% of the day that will make everything easier the rest of the day. For me it’s fitness. For you, it might be reading. It might be writing thank you notes. It doesn’t matter, find that one thing that makes all the rest of your health practices easier and do it within your first 2½ hours of your day.
This is my typical morning routine during the week.
- Wake up: 4:15 or 5:15 am
- Quickly scroll through news headlines. This is done on a tablet that never enters my bedroom. There is nothing electronic in my bedroom except an alarm clock that is covered up by a hat.
- Read 1 chapter in the Bible followed by 1 page of journaling. My favorite journal is Markings by C.R. Gibson. Writing 1 page takes about 5 minutes. It typically starts with gratitude or a life situation I’m pondering, re-writing my goals, and ending with a positive affirmation.
- Head to the kitchen to fill my water bottle (32 ounces). Take a few supplements before heading to the gym: Thorne Vitamin D, Thorne Citramins, 1-2 tabs of Nutriwest Total FLM, Nutriwest Methyl Renew. I may or may not eat anything. If I do, it’s a banana at most.
- My daily WOD (Workout Of Day) and coaching is provided by CrossFit Continuum at either 5 am or 6 am, depending on what time I woke up that morning. My workout, cool down, and mobility is done and I’m ready to head back home. I have typically consumed that 32 ounces of water.
- Feed and take the dogs out.
- Record my workout results. I use the WODBook app in the Google Play Store.
- Either start making breakfast for the family or help get the boys dressed. Breakfast is often the same thing: 7 eggs scrambled, divided between the 4 of us and fruit. Supplements: Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency, Innate Choice Probiotic Sufficiency, Juice Plus Red and Green.
- Shower up and head to work. While getting ready, I listen to either audio books or podcasts. I love the audible.com app. As for podcasts, I cycle between Tim Ferriss, Entreleadership, or Colin Cowherd.
The rest of the day is set in motion. I’m physically and mentally prepped to adapt to what the rest of the day throws at me. One note is that to make the first 10% of my day effective, I am in bed between 9-10 pm each night. Maybe your one thing is getting a good night’s sleep.
Regardless of your religious beliefs or affiliations, I challenge you to take 10% of your day to work on you. The best way to make it sustainable is by making it NOT about you. Look at your first 10% of your day as being a good steward of your health and using that time to catalyze your health so you can serve others more effectively. If you have the internal accountability that what you do is for someone else, you’re less likely to slack off or sleep in.
It may start out as a sacrifice but once it becomes routine, it becomes a necessity and guide for the rest of your day. The less your nervous system has to organize and coordinate chance early in the morning, the more you start your day in a relaxed state. Getting up early and feeling refreshed may be a giant struggle in your life. It may be your personality but there may also be some physiological imbalances that need to be addressed. If you’re not sure, give us a call and we can chat about it.